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Perumal Murugan: Facts about the acclaimed Tamil writer


Mar 15, 2023

Surabhi Rawat

Perumal Murugan

Acclaimed Tamil writer Perumal Murugan has been longlisted for the International Booker Prize 2023 for his novel ‘Pyre’. Here we list down some interesting facts about him that everyone should know.


He was born and brought-up in a small village

Perumal Murugan was born on October 15, 1966 in Thiruchengode, a village in rural Tamil Nadu. Born to an illiterate farmer, Murugan turned out to be the only educated son in his family. While he works as a professor in a Government college, he has also authored 11 novels and five collections each of short stories and poetry.


Early interest in writing

Murugan began writing from an early age. In fact, some of his early writings were lyrics for children’s songs which were featured on programmes broadcasted by the All India Radio.


International recognition

Perumal Murugan has been Longlisted twice for the National Book Award (USA) in the Translated Literature category for his books– ’One Part Woman’ and ’The Story of a Goat’.


The dead author?

In 2015, Perumal Murugan declared himself ‘dead’ in a Facebook post. He took an exile from the literary world when his book ‘Maadhorubaagan’ (translated to English as ‘One Part Women’) was heavily condemned and received a violent backlash by extremist groups. He was also threatened to be killed by these violent groups.


Rebirth of the dead author

However in 2016, Murugan revoked his decision when a court judgment came out in his favor. The Judge ruled: “Let the author be resurrected to what he is best at. Write.” This reinforced Murugan’s spirit to resume his writing.


First Tamil novel to make it to International Booker

Murugan is the first Tamil writer to make it to the longlist of International Booker 2023. His novel ‘Pyre’ was originally written in Tamil, and it is translated into English by by Aniruddhan Vasudevan.


The importance to read Perumal Murugan’s works

Murugan is one of the few authors who boldly expose the sad state of our society through their writings. His works have many times angered rigid extremists. However, Murugan continues to write on themes of prejudice, gender and caste issues, oppression, and more.


Notable works

Some of Perumal Murugan’s notable works are: ‘One Part Woman’, ‘Poonachi’, ‘Trial by Silence’, and more.


Thanks For Reading!

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